‘Refreshingly different’ first gathering for logistics professionals in the UK last month will be followed by a second event on 26 January, plus further events held on a quarterly and monthly basis in the main hubs and cities around the UK

Several dozen senior logistics business leaders attended and reported positive experiences of the first event, held on 13 October at a prestigious London Heathrow hotel – attracted by the combination of the daytime speed-networking, meeting and discussion formats, plus the option of an evening social networking dinner featuring England rugby legend Martin Johnson.

Described as ‘refreshingly different’, the event was jointly organised with other businesses within Headford Group, including its Headford Recruitment freight and logistics executive search consultancy and its Freight Mergers advisory firm, attracting participants that ranged from business owners and directors to operations, sales, and business development managers and executives.

Maximising networking value

The daytime event was hosted by the multitalented TV presenter and networking specialist Jamie Breese, who guided participants in how to get the most value from a professional networking opportunity, during and after the event, including leading warm-up exercises, small-group discussions, and the intensive but fun and highly productive speed networking session. Guests were also encouraged to take part in various individual meetings of their choice with other members attending the networking event.

Small-group ‘mastermind’ discussions focused on debating the pros and cons of hybrid and remote working within various parts of the freight and logistics market. As well as serving as an excellent ‘ice-breaker’, the participants explored and shared meaningful and often nuanced contributions and views relating to different roles, functions and scenarios, relevant to their businesses and those of their partners and fellow logistics stakeholders.

Most appreciated the positive aspects of remote and hybrid working during the heights of the Covid pandemic and continue to see value in the flexibility provided by some level of hybrid working for certain roles and functions. But many expressed reservations and concerns about the sometimes-negative impact of remote and hybrid working on various aspects of business productivity, efficiency, teamwork and mental health, observing that certain functions were more difficult or impossible to achieve remotely.

Those staying on for the evening networking dinner were joined by a fresh wave of fellow freight industry professionals and reported an enjoyable, productive experience in a relaxed, informal environment, where participants deepened their connections with new and existing business contacts.

Refreshingly different from other networking events

Craig Headford, CEO of Headford Group, commented: ‘We were really pleased with how the event went. The main feedback we got from clients was that it was refreshingly different to any other networking events they’ve attended.’

Although technology and digitalisation continue to transform and modernise the freight and logistics sector, Headford strongly believes that individual human relationships, connections and networks remain absolutely essential to the development, growth, sustainability and good health of freight businesses and the individuals at their heart.

He commented: ‘As an organisation that specialises in connecting people and businesses – for example within our Headford Recruitment freight and logistics executive search consultancy, and our Freight Mergers advisory firm – we are acutely aware of the importance and value of networking and building positive new relationships for stakeholders throughout the freight and logistics sector, and its various suppliers and partners. These events are designed to build and consolidate those connections, in a professional but relaxed environment.’

Future plans

Following the success of the initial event, Headford now has a dedicated Events Coordinator starting with the company in January, who will be working on building the events to become bigger and better. Refinements include the addition of a lively panel discussion by industry leaders on a hot topic.

The plan going forward is to run quarterly events similar to the January event in the main hubs around the UK, and smaller daytime-only networking events, monthly, in different cities around the UK.

Headford concluded: ‘We really enjoyed working with Jamie Breese and felt he made the day a success. We were pleased to have the evening arranged by Mark Jakeways from PLM to celebrate our 20-Year Anniversary, and it was a great honour to meet Martin Johnson. We were also joined by (former England rugby international) Mark Regan, who is a personal friend.’

NEXT EVENT

The next FORWARDER networking event will take place on 26 January at the Delta (Marriott) Hotel in Windsor, in the form of a networking event followed by a meal and a lively panel discussion by industry leaders. Those wishing to book places can do so via:https://forwardermagazine.com/event/forwarder-networking-event-jan-212/

Jolie Dixon, Events Coordinator at Headford Group, commented: ‘We will begin the day with networking activities from 12pm-4pm, with a lunch break at 1.30pm, followed by an opportunity to continue the conversations over a drink at the bar. The evening entertainment will begin at 5pm and will include a hot buffet, panel discussion and Q&A session with leading freight experts in a fun and friendly environment, with the structured activities ending at 7pm, allowing networking to continue informally at the bar.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity to work hard and play hard for the day and well into the evening. Come along and form new alliances during the day, then kick back and relax with like-minded freight specialists in the evening.’

Further information

A video of the highlights from the first event can be seen via this link:https://youtu.be/m3XxEBrnadk and high-res photos are available on request.

The next event takes place on 26 January at Delta Hotels Heathrow Windsor, Ditton Road, Langley, Windsor SL3 8PT.

Please contact Mark at mark@FORWARDER.events or +44 (0)1454 628 775 for more information about this and future events, or visit https://forwarder.events/